Researchers Link Air Pollution and Increased Risk of Stillbirth

May 24, 2016 – After conducting a systematic review and meta-data analysis of existing evidence from 13 studies, researchers concluded that there is “suggestive evidence” that exposure to ambient air pollution is a risk factor for stillbirth.  Specifically, the researchers—all members of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oulu in Finland—found that a 4-microgram-per-cubic-meter increase in exposure to fine particulate matter was linked to a 2-percent increase in the risk of stillbirth; exposure to nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, PM10 and ozone were also found to be associated with increased risk.  In the results of their study, which were published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, the authors note that pregnant women should be aware of the potential adverse impacts of air pollution even though preventing exposure to air pollution “generally requires more action by the government than by individuals.”  They call for the development and implementation of policies to control vehicle and industrial waste emissions and improve fuel quality.  The authors also note that most of the studies they reviewed were based on monitoring data and they suggest that future studies integrate the use of personal monitoring methods and consider the activities of pregnant women.  The study is entitled, Prenatal ambient air pollution exposure and the risk of stillbirth: systematic review and meta-analysis of the empirical evidence.